Store Locator Plus® Has Been Re-listed

It has been a year since Store Locator Plus® has been listed in the official WordPress plugin directory.    The previous 12 months have been quite the journey to get the plugin re-listed — but we finally made it!    Kudos to the development team for taking on the thousands of lines of code that make the Store Locator Plus® applications “go” and helping us get there.    Thanks to the customer support team for helping keep things going while the dev team was getting up to speed and addressing all the concerns noted by the folks on the WordPress Plugin Team.     It took longer than expected, but we finally have our plugin and the associated one-click updates for our install base back online.

SLP Has Been Re-Listed

Store Locator Plus® 5.13.8 for WordPress

The new release, Store Locator Plus® 5.13.8 is available for immediate download from your WordPress SLP account.    Now that we have been re-listed you can also get our plugin directly from the WordPress plugin directory.

This update includes PHP 8 compatibility (use with caution, PHP 8 is still not officially supported by WordPress) as well as numerous internal security updates.     It also patches some minor issues reported in the past year.

There are a LOT of code changes and millions of combinations of settings in Store Locator Plus®.  We’ve tested compatibility with the premium add ons from Power, Experience, and Premier but  your configuration may uncover an issue we did not discover.   If you run into issues with the latests update please let us know and we’ll address the problem as quickly as we can.

We’re Back

Our business leader and original architect of Store Locator Plus® is back at it full time.   Our tech leader has been very busy during the past two years, assisting Store Locator Plus® on a limited basis while working to get another tech startup off-the-ground.    That company is now moving to the next phase and our leader is back and is 100% focused on bring the next generation of Store Locator Plus products and services to market.

Plans are in the works to improve the user experience, improve stability and performance, and branch out to natively support more web presence platforms and web developer tool kits.    New features and services are coming to the SaaS platform, with a renewed focus on extending the reach of our software-as-a-service offering. Pricing changes are being discussed to ease the burden on small businesses.

There is a lot more coming.    Be sure to subscribe to our news feed to keep up as we work toward the next generation of products and services.

Focusing On You

One of the first changes being employed is focusing on how we can help YOU, our established customer base. We have a lot of catching up to do and are committed to getting Store Locator Plus® back to the top of the locator software and services list.    To get there we are going to need your help.

The best way to help? Communicating your needs.  What can we do better?  What features are missing or can be improved?   Or drop us a note to tell us what we’re doing right.

We promise we’ll listen and do our best to improve our services and products.

URL Location Selector Patch and WordPress Listing Update

Store Locator Plus® was updated today with a patch that ensures the location selection via URL remains functional.   The location selection via URL allows you to build links on your site that load up a page that hosts the Store Locator Plus® map and auto-select a specific location.      Changes in the JavaScript standard impacted the way this feature works, causing inconsistent behavior in different browser.   The patch that was put online today for our SaaS users eliminates the inconsistency and re-enables this feature for all browsers.

Users of our self-managed WordPress plugins will need to download the latest Store Locator Plus® release from our website.    Normally this would be available directly from the WordPress plugin directory, however the WordPress plugin team has yet to approve our latest updates.  Until they approve the updates and re-enable free downloads, the only option for WordPress plugin users to get the latest release is to purchase the base plugin from our WordPress store.

Tired of waiting for the WordPress plugin team to re-activate the plugin and provide quick-and-easy automated updates?   Switch over to the Store Locator Plus® SaaS release and you never have to deal with updating your locator plugin stack again.    We handle all those details for you.   Prices start as low as $5/month.

Update On WordPress Directory Listing

Store Locator Plus® 5.9 was released last week as a security update for the WordPress plugin community.   The plugin was reviewed by the WordPress Directory staff.    They chose to keep the plugin closed for what they deemed “potential future issues” with the plugin as well as requests for several changes to follow what they deem “best practices”.   Of note in this review is that they did not cite any of the publicly reported vulnerabilities that closed the plugin in the first place as remaining open.

In other words, all reported vulnerabilities were apparently addressed to their satisfaction.

However, they have opted to keep the plugin closed until we can update our coding style.   While we are willing to work toward their new “best design practices” for coding style, this is going to take some time.  For example, the latest 5.10.1 release of the Store Locator Plus® plugin has replaced the PHP standard <?= shorthand with the longer <?php echo syntax per the WordPress Plugin Directory Team’s request.   Not a security issue, but something they requested we change before being re-listed.    This requires that we run a full internal test if the updated code before it can be released to the general public.

While we wait for the WordPress Plugin Directory Team to approve re-listing, our self-managed WordPress plugin users can only receive updates to the Store Locator Plus® plugin.  You can find this in the WordPress plugin store.   You can learn more about the update process in our 5.9 Security Update Released news post.

While we hope that the folks over at WordPress.com deem our plugin worthy of being re-listed in the near future, we have no control over what they will come back with during each review.   It could be weeks or months before the plugin is available again in the standard directory with one-click updates being available.

This is one of the biggest advantages to being on the SaaS offering, no need to manually update your locator software.  EVER.